Spooky city spots

At Play


Posted on 03 Oct 2019

According to some locals, Adelaide is home to its fair share of ‘haunted houses’ with tales to tell about objects mysteriously moving around, the sounds of a phantom pool game happening – even sightings of a six fingered ghost!

To get you in the mood for Halloween, we asked paranormal investigator Allen Tiller, (the man behind the City of Adelaide’s popular Adelaide Ghosts and Ghouls Walking Tour), to share his tales of a few spooky city spots in the city. Read his fascinating stories below.


Grand Lodge of Freemasons SA & NT

254 North Terrace, Adelaide

“The Grand Lodge is alleged to be haunted by a ghost who likes to show itself to security guards at night. The ghost has been seen wandering the upper galleries and looking over internal balconies at the security guards on the ground floor, who then do a sweep of the entire building to find no-one present onsite except themselves.

“Another resident spirit is thought to be that of former Freemason and benefactor, Brother Fax, whose portrait hangs on the third floor – where his ghost has been seen and identified. During one public tour, a guest described to his guide a man following them. Only he could see the man, but he described Fax perfectly – right down to the six fingers Fax had on one hand!”

Adelaide Arcade

112 – 118 Grenfell St, Adelaide

“The Adelaide Arcade has been considered haunted since the death of Francis Cluney in 1887. Cluney worked as a concierge at the arcade and died tragically after falling into the gas-powered electric generator, which was located where Manhattan Dry Cleaners is now.

“Cluney’s ghost has been spotted time after time since his death, patrolling his former workplace. He’s often seen on the upper level walkway, and his ghostly presence is known to the staff in the dry cleaners, who like to think of Mr Cluney as family. His constant presence is felt by the four generations of the Berry family who work in the shop.”

‘He moves things, causes clothes to move, footsteps all the time, first names get called out, drawers open, machines work by themselves. He appears in a white form, I don’t see facial features or clothing on Francis, all I see is a white, mist outline of a figure.’
Jason Berry, Manhattan Dry Cleaners, Adelaide Arcade – on the ghost of Francis Cluney

The British Hotel

58 Finniss Street, North Adelaide

“Current publican Richard Spalvins has spoken of the wispy shadow of Claude, a past guest who died at the hotel and has been spotted and heard by staff. Claude is also thought to be behind a mysterious phenomenon in the hotel basement.

“One morning Richard went to pour a pale ale, only to have a dark ale come from the tap. Upon inspection of the basement cool room, he found every keg had been rearranged and tapped into the wrong lines, and the pressure changed on the gauges.

“Richard immediately checked the security footage, knowing it would have taken a staff member over three hours to complete the feat. He found nothing unusual on the footage and the time stamp remained consistent throughout, proving the CCTV hadn’t been tampered with.”

Old Adelaide Gaol

18 Gaol Road, Thebarton

“The Old Adelaide Gaol is a paranormal hotspot and considered the city’s most haunted location by many paranormal enthusiasts.

“Built in 1878 by convict labour, the ‘New Building’ is considered the epicentre of the haunting with the most paranormal activity present. One ghost is thought to be Frederick Carr, who was trialled for murder and executed on 12 November 1927.

“Carr’s spirit is claimed to have been witnessed in the ‘New Building’, lingering around the stairs of B Wing. It is also in this wing that sightings of a ghostly former prison guard are reported on the upper level and the sounds of a mysterious phantom pool game in an officer’s lounge, can sometimes also be heard.”

246 Rundle Street, Adelaide

“On 18 November 1970 the body of the hotel’s owner, Mrs Joy Josephs, was found in the kitchen and a 30-year-old man trialled and sentenced for her murder. Years later, screams, sighs and a female voice of no known source are often reported as coming from the kitchen by hotel staff.

“The Exeter’s reported paranormal occurrences predate Mrs Josephs’ murder, but she’s thought to be behind almost all the spooky goings-on alleged in the hotel today.

“Disembodied footsteps and voices are frequently heard throughout all levels of the hotel, while the most often reported phenomena happens near the upstairs hallway where her bedroom used to be situated.

“Another common disturbance is the moving of objects - often staff will place an item on a kitchen bench, only to find it’s been moved moments later!”

Exeter Hotel


Want to learn more about Allen’s spooky spots around Adelaide? Check out his self-guided Ghost & Ghouls Walking Tour or learn more about his upcoming book ‘Haunted Adelaide’


Get inspired on ways to make the most out of spring in the city by checking out our handy spring guide!

Article by

Kate Klavins